Trees void of leaves and life hang on to tiny strips of land surrounding Isle de Jean Charles. (Image by Kathleen Flynn) 

French-speaking Indians who live deep in Louisiana bayou, some 50 miles south of New Orleans, became the United States' first official climate refugees last week when the federal government awarded them $48 million to relocate...

The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe has inhabited Isle de Jean Charles for centuries, but because of a slow-moving disaster caused by sinking land, climate change and oil exploration, they've all but lost the land they call home. With more than 1,900 square miles of land vanishing in the past 80 years – equivalent to the size of a football field lost every 45 minutes – the tribe members who live in Isle de Jean Charles have to find a new place to live.

A weather.com special report published last year called Losing Louisiana chronicled the tribe's plight.

“It kills me to see what has happened,” Isle de Jean Charles resident Regee Dupre told weather.com. “In my lifetime, I have witnessed a thriving community and culture reduced to a small community on life support.”

(MORE: A Slow-Moving Disaster in Louisiana)

The funding will allow the tribe to settle on higher ground, Indian Country Today reported. Since the 1950s, their land has shrunk from 11 miles long and five miles wide to two miles long and a quarter-mile wide as rising seas have swallowed up the Louisiana bayou.

A previous attempt by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to relocate the tribe was rejected in 2002, Indian Country Today also reported. But this time, the group got an offer they couldn't refuse, and the dire nature of their disappearing land left them with few options.

“I’m very, very pumped,” Chief Albert Naquin told Indian Country Today. “I’m very, very excited. I’ve been working on this for 13 years. I’ve taken some pretty big hits for doing that, and not just locally.”

This likely won't be the last group relocated by climate change in America. A group in Washington and two groups in Alaska are either in the process of relocating or will likely start discussing it soon.

Published: Feb 22 2016 12:00 AM EST
By Sean Breslin
More on Weather.com  

Losing Louisiana...

To learn about global warming, climate change and greenhouse gas causes, effects, solutions, definitions, facts and tipping points, click here.
To receive breaking news on global warming issues, sign up for our Best of the Internet global warming blog by clicking here and putting your email address in the Global Warming Blog Subscribe box at the bottom right of the page. Once a week you will automatically receive new headlines from the key global warming stories of the week.
To learn about the greatest adaptive challenge and transformational adventure in human history; the new Job One For Humanity Plan to end global warming, click here.

To help do something about the climate change and global warming emergency, click here.

Sign up for our free Global Warming Blog by clicking here. (In your email, you will receive critical news, research, and the warning signs for the next global warming disaster.)

To share this blog post: Go to the Share button to the left below.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Get More Info Here Take Action Support Our Mission

Subscribe to Our Global Warming Blog


Subscribe to Our Global Warming Blog